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Tata DOCOMO, Saavn Launch Special Data Packs. Is This the Way Forward for Music Streaming Services?

tata-docomo-saavnThis bit of news will be music to the years of Tata DOCOMO customers: The telecom company has tied up with music streaming site Saavn to offer special  plans for music on their app.

The offer is presently only for GSM prepaid customers of the telecom service provider and there is also free sampling on select 2G data packs to browse Saavn for a month. Subscribers who recharge with selected 2G packs will be given 100 MB of free data to stream Saavn music.

The offers comprises three different 30-day validity plans namely Saavn Music 3G Data Plan which offers 300MB of 3G data and 500 minutes of music streaming for Rs 93 and the Saavn Music 2G SLP plan which offers 1GB of data and 2000 minutes of music streaming for Rs 155. Both these plans are exclusive to users in Karnataka.

In addition to the above two plans, Tata Docomo users across the country can also take advantage of the Saavn Music 2G plan that offers 1GB of data and 1000 minutes of music streaming for Rs 104.

These plans will work on the Android and iOS devices with the apps installed as well as feature phones through WAP.

Is this the NextBigWhat for India’s digital music industry?

This is not the first time that a mobile operator has tied up with an internet service. In the past, Twitter has tied up with Reliance to offer its services free to customers and WhatsApp had tied up with Reliance. What makes the Tata, Saavn partnership unique is that music streaming is data hungry.

Music already enjoys the largest share in India’s mobile VAS market and Tata Docomo hopes to add an additional source of revenue, with data consumption already increasing among customers.

These kinds of offers will come as a relief to mobile customers who like to stream music on their mobiles but are concerned about the costs associated with streaming.

The music streaming segment already has a number of established players like Hungama, Gaana, Dhingana and Flipkart’s Flyte.  While these services already have feature-rich websites and mobile apps which offer premium services, these players will now probably look at partnerships with various telecom operators to increase their user base. Telecom operator will probably be only too happy with these tie-ups which will only increase data consumption and thus revenues.

Recent developments in this space

Dhingana is exploring new ways to monetize music: Swapnil Shinde, Co-Founder & COO

Gaana launches apps for Android, iOS and other platforms

Hungama revamped its website, taking the HTML5 route and also launched Music Cloud which allows you to sync (and stream) your desktop music across devices for free

RPG group’s record label Saregama launched an internet radio service for music

Apple launched the iTunes music store in India in December 2012